Heron, the water bird, stalks silently by. Icy spring water troubles her not. Heron’s imposing stature is punctuated by her stillness.

Embodied hunter, she is patience, tenacity, grace and blurring speed.

Water molecules gather in the heavy air. Condensing, accumulating. Falling invisibly on my glasses, hands, and paper, blurring my ink.

I close my eyes and look inward. Heron asks for self-reflection, the internal journey. She lives her life by the water looking past her own reflection. Depth. Alive. I obey her. I close my eyes and look inward.

Hawk keens overhead. Master of the wind and sky. Hawk calls out reminding me to pull back the lense. To retreat from detail. To visualize the whole landscape. To take in the grander arc of life.

In my stillness I stretch my hearing. First to my right, up stream. How far can I hear? To the next pool up? Beyond the rise? Beyond that?

And left, down stream beyond where, heron fishes. I listen for where the creek narrows before it widens again below the cabin.

Wind occasionally moves up the canyon. Languidly sluicing through the brush and the trees. Cool autumnal fingers spread over my body and across my bare cheeks and hands. The only parts of me not clothed or swaddled.

Wind escalates, insisting her efforts be noticed. Bay berries fall from high above, landing with dull thuds against Earth. Earth receives the seeds with the patience of a mother.

Golden bay leaves flutter to the ground. A lone mosquito lands on my hand, the size of a sparrow. It flies off before I can shake free of it. On to a tastier prize this milky day?

In my stillness I hear small rock slides from the sheer canyon walls on either side of me. Brought on by the natural shifting of the mountain’s surface? Perhaps a beetle? The domino effect of physics? Something larger? Deer, coyote, rabbit? Something Menacing… cougar, bear?

The mountain settles and stills. I resume my reflections.

I’ve sat so still for so long now that Heron returns. She moves stealthily upstream. Left to right. Passing before me, she focuses her right eye on me. One amber globe surrounding a striking black pupil. So close. If she took flight I’d feel the wind of her wings.

Her head remains unmoving, frozen, as her feather cloaked body haltingly surges forward on improbably thin stilt legs.

She pauses at the pools, peering down past her own elegant reflection. Looking into the depths. The water bird hunting her next meal.

Steadily she moves upstream. Around the bend. Out of view.

I breath again.

She chortles upstream. Calling a mate? Celebrating her catch? Or maybe she signs out for the joy of hearing the sound of her own voice joining with the blowing wind, the flowing stream, the keening hawk.

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